Grade: all
Subject: other

#878. Simple Motivating Incentive: The Pebble Tree

other, level: all
Posted Sat Mar 6 09:33:37 PST 1999 by Ruth Ann Freeman (
Conn Global Communications, Raleigh, North Carolina
Materials Required: A Pebble Tree and Pebbles OR Gumball Machine and Gumballs OR M&M Candy Machine and M&M's
Activity Time: N/A
Concepts Taught: All

"Is that your best work?" I use to find myself saying a lot until one of my students gave me a gift certificate to a VERY CREATIVE store.

I bought a "Pebble Tree" (which was really an M&M candy machine) and I put five different colors of decorative pebbles in them.

If my students have done a "Pebble Tree" job on their work, I let them take a trip to "The Pebble Tree". I've NEVER seen such enthusiasm as to see "what pebble did she/he get?"

If the student receives a white pebble, then they get a popsicle for snack (provided by parent volunteers), a blue pebble equals a homework pass, a clear pebble equals a gum pass during "Drop Everything and Read" (also, provided by parent volunteers), a yellow pebble (and there's only one in the tree) equals spending "fun" time (helping her) and lunch with the principal, and a purple pebble (only one) equals spending "fun" time (helping her) and lunch with the assistant principal.

Who would have ever thought that a "rock" would bring such motivation?